ELKINS, W.Va. – West Virginia’s State Auditor has come up with a plan to immediately demolish over 10,000 dilapidated and unsafe homes throughout the state.
John “JB” McCuskey met with Elkins and other Randolph County officials on Wednesday to explain the details of the Community Resurrection and Economic Development Act. The bill will set aside $30 million for cities to use towards the demolition of unsafe homes in disrepair. It also gives incentives for land improvement while also offering property owners hardship programs and repayment arrangements.
McCuskey said the Governor will introduce the bill this week during the legislative session. “Our hope is if we do it all down at the same time, we can tear them cheaper. We can get them all done quickly, and we can really start to prepare our little towns and our beautiful counties for what I think is going to be economic renaissance in our state,” said McCuskey.
“We’re very excited that he is kind of championing,” said Elkins Mayor Jerry Marco. “This idea to actually bring on funding that would allow cities to purchase properties and then to take them and either revitalize them or demolish them and rebuild. I’m very supportive of this bill, I hope it gets pushed through, and I know it’s a governor’s bill, and I’m very excited about that.
McCuskey said delinquent properties turned over to his office will first be offered to neighboring property owners, then to the county or city and, finally, to nonprofit or charitable organizations.